Just over 50 years ago NASA launched Apollo 11 and landed on the moon. Yet through all this time conspiracy theorists still believe that this great achievement was faked. After digging a bit deeper into the issue some things might not seem to add up. Rob Bretherton is a psychologist who speaks about why we love conspiracy theories as a human race. He says, “We are drawn to the idea of conspiracy because it resonates with us; we understand the idea of people being self-interested and not having our best interests at heart and having hidden motives and getting together to do shady stuff.” So, the question is: did NASA really fake the moon landing, or do people just want to believe it’s fake? Conspiracy theorists bring up suspicions including the flag, the paranoia of the cold war, things not matching up in photos, and lost evidence.
When you hear about the moon landing being faked you probably hear about the flag theory. This theory is from when buzz aldrin planted the flag on the moon the flag appeared to be waving around which should not be possible in outer space because there is no atmosphere. Over the years NASA has come up with many reasons the first being that because Buzz turned the flagpole to get it into the ground it was staying in the position that it is in in the picture. Although their most recent one is that NASA designed a flag that would stay upright even though there was no atmosphere. In the image, you can see the rod that NASA put into the top edge to keep it upright, yet many conspiracy theorists still believe that it was faked because NASA didn’t make this point at the start.
On the twenty-fifth of May 1961 President John F. Kennedy made a statement a speech to the citizens of America he said “We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade … not because they are easy, but because they are hard, … because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.” He promised that by the end of the decade the United States would put a man on the moon. This was a big promise and one that the United States could not afford to lose because of the Soviet Union’s goal to do the same thing. Throughout the sixties, the Soviets racked up more and more goals first artificial object in the earth’s atmosphere. The first living being in orbit, first human in space, first spacewalk while the United States trailed behind. But then at the end of the decade on the twentieth of July 1969, Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Many conspiracists believe that it is just too convenient that they landed on the moon that closes to the end of the decade having made very little progress over the eight years prior.
Many things that NASA has said or shown to the public over the last 50 years has left the public and especially conspiracy theorists to believe that NASA’s stories are not straight. In 1994 NASA’s administrator admitted that if NASA was to find a way to the moon, they would have to overcome the effects of cosmic radiation even though they had done it a total of 6 times beforehand. Gus Grissom was part of the Gemini 3 mission and many others was so upset with the progress that NASA had made he hung a lemon off the ladder to the capsule. Later in 1967, Gus Grissom died in a test launch of the Apollo 1 mission. Gus’s family believes that NASA killed Gus because of his negativity to NASA. Many photos that NASA gave to the public have had flaws such as one of the astronaut’s footprints where the footprints created on the moon’s surface are different to those on the sole of the space boots. Also, conspiracy theorist says that shadows in photos should all match up because there is only one light source on the moon but instead the shadows go in different directions. In one photo there is a clear letter “C” on one of the moon rocks that theorists claimed is that it is part of a set. NASA has made claims that the letter “C” was not on the rock but instead on the negative that the photo was taken onto.
NASA has not defended many of the claims against them leaving the question “was the moon landing faked.” Although most people believe that the moon landing was legitimate still 10% of Americans believe that it was faked. Given the evidence, there are some things that you wonder why NASA have not commented on not giving them the upper hand. All in all, we can agree that there is a lot of room for debate on this topic and that the debate will continue for centuries.